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Independents' Day

Kendrick on...the madness of NICE decision making - and its price limit revealed

Dr Malcolm Kendrick makes the case that NICE decision-making has been fundamentally flawed from the start

Dr Malcolm Kendrick makes the case that NICE decision-making has been fundamentally flawed from the start

Sanctions imposed on guilty doctors by the GMC are to follow a framework drawn up by the regulator's watchdog.

The Commission for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence created its Indicative Sanctions Guidance after it identified inconsistencies in approaches taken by the nine health care regulators.

It intends the template to be adapted by each regulator to create an 'authoritative statement' of its approach to sanctions, setting out clearly when each should apply.

Julie Stone, CHRE deputy director, said the guidance sought to 'ensure consistency as far as possible' across the regulators. 'At some future point, when all health care regulators are consistently excellent, CHRE may well not need to exist,' she added.

Dr Peter Schütte, head of advisory services at the MDU, said he was keen to see if the guidance would make any practical difference. 'We are pleased to see the template stresses the need for explanations to be provided,' he said.

Dr Mark Dudley, medico-legal adviser at the Medical Protection Society, said the guidance would help ensure sanctions were 'fair and proportionate'.

Dr Krishna Korlipara, a GMC council member and a GP in Bolton, said the guidance was another sign of the GMC being 'kicked from the left and the right'.

He said the GMC believed its adjudication role should be given to an independent body 'set up by the Government with input from the profession, but not paid for by the profession'.

When should which

sanction apply?

·Erasure ­ for cases of serious departure from Good Medical Practice; serious harm to patients; sexual or violent offences; involvement in child pornography; persistent dishonesty

·Suspension ­ serious misconduct but where there is no evidence of repetition, deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems or significant risk to patients

·Conditional registration ­ where there is a clear need for assessment or training; evidence of health problems; general incompetence; where there is a willingness to retrain and where conditions will protect patients

Malcolm Kendrick

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